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Marcus Lower

Pulsars are a type of rapidly spinning neutron star that emit pulses of electromagnetic radiation along their magnetic poles. Remarkably, these objects are some of the most accurate clocks in the known Universe. Precisely measuring the arrival time of their pulses, a technique known as pulsar timing, allows us to use them as laboratories for testing General Relativity and the properties of matter under extreme densities.

The next generation of pulsar timing instrumentation - either upgrades to existing facilities (e.g: the Molonglo and Parkes radio telescopes) or brand new radio telescopes such as MeerKAT - will allow us to undertake some of the most stringent tests of fundamental physics to date. However, the data produced by these facilities will be limited by our poor understanding of the physical and statistical processes that affect pulsar timing. My project involves overcoming these problems by applying Bayesian parameter estimation and model selection to these data sets. This will allow us to robustly probe the high dimensional parameter spaces that are needed for generating accurate pulsar timing models.

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